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Photographing Ålesund

Ålesund is with about 50 000 inhabitants the largest town on the north-west coast of Norway. After being hit by a large fire in 1904, the town was rebuilt in art nouveau style and thus has a special place in norwegian architectural history. The beautiful city centre lends itself very well to photography, not only because of it’s characteristic architechture, but also because of it’s location by the sea, partially placed on islands, and even with a “canal” in the city-centre.

I recently spent a weekend in Ålesund to photograph. Now, as with much of Norway, you never know what you get with respect to weather and light. I knew there would be a full moon, and had some hopes for clear skies and some nighttime photography with stars. It turned out that luck was on my side this time. I spent two nights photographing my way around the centre of the town, and rounded off both mornings with a trip up to the nearby mount Aksla. This is a short drive or a brief albeit steep walk from the centre. The first night brought a setting, almost full moon, well before sunrise. The next morning conditions were even better with a full moon setting in the sea on the exact right place and time.

All these images are stitched panoramas of around 200 megapixels. I am always somewhat weary about stitching panos of buildings, or landscapes where the horizon is very prominent, as handling the distortions can be very difficult. These images did not turn out too bad with respect to that, but most of the work in postprocessing was to straighten lines and make the buildings look as natural as possible.

I am fairly happy with the results, but I am absolutely not finished with this beautiful town. I will surely return, next time maybe in a different season and with a goal of capturing a nice sunset.

I hope you like these images, have a great week!

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